My Very First Craft Show Reveal!

September 11, 2013

I'm still reeling from this past weekend when I was a vendor in my first juried arts and crafts festival (Festival of the Vine) in Geneva, Il.  Right now I just want to share a few pictures with you, but I promise I'll be going into my experience in more detail in posts to come. 

Here's the tent, decorated in the front with my lovely french script fabric bunting made by my friend Kathleen Lane Balke (a.k.a. Local Love on Facebook}.
Yes, I see the gaping empty space across the back of the tent.  This was early morning before the show started, but we did at least try to keep that area clear of junk throughout the day.  Unfortunately, it was inevitable because I was pretty claustrophobic in the tent as it was. The thought of something across the back (like a table), or a closed back (with the tarp down), just really didn't work for me. I got many compliments on how pretty my displays were so overall I'm ok with it. 

This was a Goodwill find I sprayed with chalkboard paint to create my store name sign.

This scrolly, vine-y display easel was originally bought to display jewelry.  (Thanks Mr. CBD for spotting it at the thrift store!)  But after a few coats of white spray paint and some chalkboard paint it was transformed into a vintage wedding prop.  My favorite customers were the cute young couple that bought it.  They told me it would have "a special place" at their wedding.  I just loved that!

My favorite prop/display piece was the vintage lamp I used to hang jewelry from.  It, too, was saved by white spray paint.  Unfortunately, it was pretty windy that first morning (and the whole second day, too) and the side of the tent blew in and knocked the lamp onto the ground.  The base broke and I was crushed {figuratively}.  Jury's still out on whether or not gluing it back together is going to work.  Needless to say we had to take that side off the tent to keep it from knocking over anything else.


The hat box is vintage, from a Chicago haberdashery.  It sold.

My charm bracelets had a lot of admirers and purchasers!

My hand-stamped drop cloth ribbon, or "Royal Ribbon" as I called it, got off to a slow start but I did sell a few of them on the second day.  Some people had really good ideas as to what to use it for.  I'll be sharing that info later.

I call her Dolly. Don't you just love her?  Everyone who walked past her just h-a-d to touch her tutu! We thought that was pretty funny.
I'll be sharing her story later, too.

I picked up this display piece at Michigan's Longest Garage Sale, in a barn.  I believe it was some sort of grain sifter.  I added tea cup hooks and used chalkboard paint to paint the top.  It's sitting on a huge metal display stand that Mr. CBD picked up for me at a great discount.  Love it!  The display was a real show stopper for many passers-by.

 One view from my booth.

And another view.  It's the local county courthouse in the background.  The festival took place in historic downtown Geneva, IL.  It's a quaint, lovely town on the Fox River.  It really is an ideal place for a festival of this sort.  There was also lots of food and wine tasting involved.  Unfortunately, I didn't really see anything but my booth for the whole two days.

There are so many things I want to share with you about my experience, and I promise you that those posts are coming.  I'll just be spacing them out so as not to cause your eyes to glaze over.

 I will say this, though.  It was a ton of work, but also a ton of fun and a great learning experience.  I made invaluable contacts in that I had three people approach me with business propositions.  Two were store owners who wanted me to sell in their shops, and another was a talented acquaintance who has a regular monthly spot at a local flea market.  She proposed sharing her large space with me.  It's a well-known and respected flea market and it was a nice surprise to be invited to sell there.

So..........I have a lot to think about.  And a lot of sleep to catch up on.  I'm back into the home schooling groove with our son, and our two girls are starting their teen years so we really have our hands full.  And without my very helpful, supportive and loving husband I don't know how I would have done it.  Thank you, sweetie!

My thanks also go out to all my blogging friends who gave me priceless support and advice throughout my preparation process.  You all know who you are! 
 Be sure to stay tuned for more thoughts on the whole world of craft shows as well as some tips for those of you who are just starting out.  I'm certainly no expert, but maybe I can help.


I'll be partying here:

Leave a Comment!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Sounds like a wonderfully successful weekend Kathleen! And I can see why, you displays are so charming! Presentation makes all the difference and you clearly have a great eye! Huge congratulations! Now get some rest!

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Bravo! Your booth looks so good Kathleen, so well thought out and organized. That pesky wind is so hard to deal with during outdoor shows. I'm sorry to hear that it broke your creative lamp display. Dolly looks fabulous! Looking forward to seeing more.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Sounds and looks like you not only had a successful sale, but have leads to some wonderful new adventures in the future. Your booth space looks great - sorry the wind did some damage. :/

KimMalk said...

It looks fabulous, Kathleen!

At Home in English Valley said...

Hi Kathy, Wow, you did a really great job...would never believe it was your first time out. I really wanted to take a trip to see you, but family obligations and a over worked hubby kept us close to home. No surprise you did so well, you are amazing! Love, Penny

Barbara Jean said...

all gorgeous!
Great display ideas.

be blessed

suziqu's thread works said...

Dolly looks so divine in here tutu!

suziqu's thread works said...

Dolly looks so divine in here tutu!

Privet and Holly said...

SO proud of you
for going for it, K!

I love Geneva and
have spent many happy
times there with my
two Chicago area besties,
Kathleen and Fiona.

Your booth was so
pretty and I can imagine
how customers oohed
and aahed!

Good luck with the school
year ahead and with all of
your future craft endeavors.
You really have a knack, my

xo Suzanne

Anonymous said...

Everything looks great, Kathleen! Your presentation is gorgeous! Your booth looked so inviting! I'm thrilled you had a good show! There is nothing worse than doing all the work and having no one there- I'm speaking from experience! :)

Donna Wilkes said...

Your displays were very appealing. I am glad you were so successful.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Your booth looked great, Kathleen! I'm sure you did well and I can't wait to hear more about it. I'm just doing one event this year {in December} because I know I just can't divide up the things I make much more between the booth, my Etsy and more than one other venue. I'm sure you will give careful thought to your offers and pick what works for you.

Keith@ Vintage Crab Jewelry and Crafts said...

I love how you set up your booth and the creative ways you show off your necklaces! I am your newest follower!

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